Stream Data Centers, a 21-year provider of built-to-order data centers and purveyor of retail and wholesale colocation services, is planning a second facility in Chicago.

The new data center will help the company meet increased demand in Illinois, whilst benefiting from the state’s recently-introduced tax incentives for data center operators.

To this end, Stream has secured a 208,000 square foot (19,325 square meter) site on which to build the 130,000 square foot data center next to the company’s existing 15MW, 127,000 square foot (11,800 square meter) facility, which was completed in July 2020.

Stream Data Centers' Chicago II Data Center
– Stream Data Centers

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Construction work is expected to begin in February 2021 on the Elk Grove Village industrial estate, and will be kitted-out with ComEd electrical equipment.

"Elk Grove Village understands the unique needs and complexities of developing large scale data center projects," said Chris Kincaid, Stream's SVP of design and construction. "That knowledge combined with ComEd's infrastructure and reliable ability to deliver electric utility capacity gives us great confidence in our ability to deliver this large-scale project in 2021."

The attractive nature of the location rests on two main factors: firstly, Chicago is one of the United States’ most prolific data center hubs (the fourth-largest, after Northern Virginia, Dallas Fort Worth, and Silicon Valley, according to CBRE), and secondly, the state of Illinois has been working hard to lure operators to the state by introducing sweeping tax relief.

As of last year - and for the next nine years at least - data center developments are exempt from tax on computing equipment and benefit from a 20 percent income break.

Data center tax incentives have become a go-to for states seeking data center developments. While sales tax exemptions on electrical equipment are particularly common, strategies differ, from exemptions on electricity consumption to property tax reductions.